Drivers work out route to success

PUBLISHED: 10:26 09 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 May 2010

Matt Shawyer and Joe Twyman

Matt Shawyer and Joe Twyman

RACING drivers Matt Shawyer and Joe Twyman are shaping up for life in the fast lane after securing sponsorship deals with Next Generation Gyms. Joe, who lives in Smallford, St Albans, is a semi-professional driver

Fit for action - Joe and Matt in the gym

RACING drivers Matt Shawyer and Joe Twyman are shaping up for life in the fast lane after securing sponsorship deals with Next Generation Gyms.

Joe, who lives in Smallford, St Albans, is a semi-professional driver and was last week racing at Spa in Belgium. The former Verulam School pupil was in karting with Hertfordshire Formula One star Lewis Hamilton and graduated from the Silverstone Motorsport Academy.

The motor-racing career stalled briefly in 2005 when Joe had to battle back from suffering acute leukaemia and required a bone marrow transplant. Amazingly, just five months after the transplant Joe won the Woodcote Trophy race at Spa. He now races sportscars and historic sportscars and set a class pole position in the support race at Le Mans. Joe has driven endurance races for Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Corvette and Lotus. He is also an ambassador for the charity Teenage Cancer Trust and has raised more than £100,000.

Matt, from Wheathampstead, ignites his latest challenge for the BRDC National Kart Championship title with a return to karting when he lines up for the Dubai 24-Hour Kart Race in October. The event, held at the Dubai Autodrome on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 features some of the top kart drivers from around the world.

The Wheathampstead racer won the BRDC National Kart Championship in 2002 and is looking to the Dubai event to propel him forward for another title push. He said: "I will be returning to Karting full-time for another attempt at the national championship next season."

The drivers are now receiving sponsorship from Next Generation Clubs, based at Hatfield Business Park, where Bob Bowry is general manager. Shawyer said: "Obviously fitness is key to our success on the track and having the benefit of such amazing facilities is a big boost to our respective careers."

Joe added: "As I was let home in the May (after the transplant), my doctors said that any normal person could expect to be in bed/on the sofa for a year. I never classed myself as normal so that's when Next Gen came to my help and very slowly I got myself back to some kind of fitness.

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